Destiny Church has opened up its doors to patched gang members.

Gang members are usually discouraged from attending the church while wearing their patches, but an exception was made for those interested in hearing the Easter message.

Live streaming videos have been posted to the Church's Facebook page showing performances and talks from people present.

Former gang members shared their stories of rape, murder, and drugs - and how Destiny helped them turn their lives around.

Earlier in the year Brian Tamaki called on men to drop their egos, treat women with respect and
Earlier in the year Brian Tamaki called on men to drop their egos, treat women with respect and "man up".

Brian Tamaki's wife Hannah tweeted that religion had helped gang members refrain from evil.

"No matter what gang they came from, they now have a new president, Jesus Christ," she said.

Destiny Church has recently launched a project called "Man-Up" - an initiative focused on tackling family violence, depression, obesity, addiction and suicide.

Tamaki says former gang members are among thousands of men being helped in 93 weekly groups across New Zealand and Australia.

Destiny Church says its
Destiny Church says its "Man-Up" programme is helping thousands of men, including former gang members, improve social behaviour and help tackle domestic violence. Photo supplied by Destiny Church

"With one Man-Up group at a time we will spread across the nation - and healing will come to our nation," he said.

"Heal the man - Heal the family. Heal the family - Heal the community. Heal the community - Heal the city. Heal the city - Heal the nation."

Many former gang members have already joined the programme.

Earlier in the week Brian Tamaki tweeted: "The single most successful Rehabilitation/Non-Reoffending/Reestablishing program right now in NZ is Man Up ... yet failed corrections rejects."


His comments come after the programme was banned from Serco's South Auckland prison.